Melbourne Renegades v Melbourne Stars: Friday 7:40pm AEDT at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
The return leg of the Melbourne Derby is here and the Melbourne Stars have still not won a single game this season. This, as well as the unavailability of the Australian international players, will be the backdrop in which the Melbourne Renegades and the Melbourne Stars face off for the second time this season.
|Renegades v Stars||Recommended Bets|
|Winner||Melbourne Renegades WIN ($1.67)|
|Top Renegades Batsman||Tim Ludeman ($5.50)|
|Top Stars Batsman||Glenn Maxwell ($5.50)|
|Top Renegades Bowler||Brad Hogg ($4.50)|
|Top Stars Bowler||James Faulkner ($4.40)|
The Melbourne Renegades will be without Aaron Finch for the remainder of the season and have announced Cameron White as their new captain. It is a move on expected lines and comes at a time when the former Aussie international is in scintillating form with the bat. He has scored 285 runs in the competition and just dismissed two times, which is fantastic for a person batting in the top-3.
White will need to decide who will replace Finch at the top of the order and the Wolf has a feeling that it is going to be Tim Ludeman. Not only has Ludeman performed this role in the past, he is also being wasted down the order having faced just three deliveries in the entire tournament.
That will also allow the Renegades to keep the same batting order which has been working for them so far. The bowlers will be a little rattled after the Ashton Turner assault in the last match since it shed a spotlight on the frailty of the Renegades attack.
Dwayne Bravo is the lynchpin for this bowling unit and if gets targeted then it could all fall apart quite quickly.
The Melbourne Stars will also lose their highest run-getter and their highest wicket-taker to international duty. Both of these titles currently belong to Marcus Stoinis and he is going to be very hard to replace.
Adam Zampa is also going to unavailable but he did not perform as per expectations in this tournament and so won’t be missed as much. There is also the possibility of Glenn Maxwell being called up now that Chris Lynn has pulled out due to injury.
These changes leave the Stars with more problems than they would have liked. They have to decide whether to bring back Luke Wright at the top of the order with the underperforming Ben Dunk or look for another alternative, find a bowler to replace Zampa, and somehow cobble together a competitive unit.
5 losses after 5 games and the Wolf has just about lost faith in their ability to spring a surprise. Their batting has been poor but it is the lack of wickets and the inability to stem runs during their bowling that is hurting them the most.
Head to Head
The Stars hold an 8-4 advantage over the Renegades in past encounters but things appear to be changing of late. The Renegades have now won two out of the last three games against the Stars and are a much-improved unit than they were in past seasons. The Docklands Stadium has been very kind to the Stars in the past as they have won 4 out of the 5 matches they have played. This season of the Stars seems like one which is leading to a massive overhaul of the team and the players know it. There is a resignation among them when they walk out and the Wolf feels they have lost all the fight in them. The Renegades, on the other hand, are very much in the fight for the BBL title this year and have players playing to their full potential.
Bet: Melbourne Renegades WIN ($1.67)
Top Melbourne Renegades Batsman
The exit of Aaron Finch opens the door for some reshuffling in the Renegades side and the Wolf thinks Tim Ludeman could be the biggest beneficiary. He may have scored just one run in the tournament so far but he is a very dangerous batsman at the top of the order. If he can take his time against Michael Beer, who might return for the Stars, then the out of form fast bowlers could be to his liking.
Bet: Tim Ludeman ($5.50)
Top Melbourne Stars Batsman
Glenn Maxwell has hit excellent form in the last couple of matches and top-scored with 60 in his last inning. Maxwell’s strike rate of 138.39 suggests that has yet to hit his peak form and the Wolf thinks it could be about to happen. He has a habit of playing some incredible innings just around the selection times and if he does not get recalled to the ODI setup then this will be as a good a platform to make a statement as any.
Bet: Glenn Maxwell ($5.50)
Top Melbourne Renegades Bowler
Brad Hogg is having another very decent season in the BBL with 7 wickets to his name at an economy rate of 7.43. His matchup against the likes of Dunk, Maxwell, and Faulkner could be very crucial in this match. The Wolf likes the way the ball has been coming out of Hogg’s hand and is backing him to do well in this match.
Bet: Brad Hogg ($4.50)
Top Melbourne Stars Bowler
James Faulkner has only taken 2 wickets in this season of the BBL so far but he is among the most economical bowlers giving away runs at just 6.70. The lack of runs from his team’s batsmen has meant that the opposition batsmen have been able to sit on him and play him out. Faulkner must step up and take a more proactive role going forward and the Wolf thinks his tight lines/change-ups will be rewarded with wickets sooner rather than later.
Bet: James Faulkner ($4.40)